Darren gained his Bachelor of Music in Piano from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Elizabeth Powell, as well as degrees in Law and Ancient History from Sydney University in 1998. In 2001 he graduated with a Masters in Piano from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University where he studied with Natasha Vlassenko and Max Olding. Following this, in 2003 Darren spent time in Germany at the Musikhochschule Trossingen, and around this time his interest in Opera grew and he began to make this his primary area of interest. He completed a Masters in Opera Répétiteur at the Sydney Conservatorium with Stephen Mould and later graduated with an Artist’s Diploma in Opera Répétiteur from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where he was accepted with a full scholarship and awarded the Leonard Hancock Memorial Prize.
In 2014 Darren was a répétiteur for the Music Academy International Opera Program in Trentino, Italy, where Renata Scotto was a guest teacher, and was also invited to the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in Brisbane, Australia working with, among others, John Fisher (The Met, La Scala), Robert Lloyd and Richard Hetherington (ROH). In 2013 he attended the Georg Solti-Peretti Accademia répétiteur’s course in Barcelona, Spain, where staff included Sir Richard Bonynge, Jonathan Papp and Pamela Bullock. Darren also worked privately with Victor Morris (former Head of Music, English National Opera).
Darren has been the recipient of a number of grants and awards including from the Australia Council, Guildhall School Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Opus 50 Charitable Trust as well as the Leonard Hancock Memorial Bursary at the Guildhall School. He has also been kindly supported by Mr Michael Crouch AO.
Professionally, Darren has played orchestral keyboard for the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Opera Australia (Peter Grimes, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk , The Makropulos case), worked for the Chelsea Opera Group, London (Don Quichotte) as well as Opera Queensland (Così fan tutte). He also worked on Paul Bunyan with British Youth Opera. Darren was a staff répétiteur at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2011-12 for La finta giardiniera and King Arthur. Darren was also a vocal coach at the Australian Institute of Music. He has performed as a concert accompanist in numerous gala concerts, Lieder, artsong and operatic recitals in the UK, Germany and Australia, including for the Royal Over-seas League at Australia House in London.
Soon after arriving in Berlin in 2015, Darren was engaged by Verena Keller as a répétiteur for the Festival der Jungen Stimmen/Internationale OpernWerkstatt in Switzerland. In 2017 Darren worked as Ballet répétiteur at Theater Koblenz and in 2018 was also engaged by Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen. Until November 2018 Darren worked as pianist for the Ernst Senff Chor in Berlin while they prepared the Verdi Requiem performed in the Berliner Dom, appeared with Andrea Bocelli at the Waldbühne and took part in an all-Wagner, Classic Open Air concert at the Gendarmenmarkt.
Recently his long-term interest in the Sedona Method of releasing has prompted him to begin a series of workshops focusing on utilising this method to assist both singers and musicians in general to uncover their natural ability to release unwanted or uncomfortable emotions and sensations, and to attain a greater degree of calmness, clarity, focused-presence and concentration. In a word it helps facilitate access to the ‘flow’ state which is so conducive to the most favourable conditions for creative work, and supports more efficient and effective practise as well as a feeling of control yet spontaneity during performance. The Method offers skills and techniques of releasing which are highly transferable to any and all aspects of life.
Darren continues to work as an in-demand freelance vocal coach and répétiteur and is based in Berlin.